7.7/10
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31 user 42 critic

The Docks of New York (1928)

A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

Writers:

Jules Furthman (story and screenplay), John Monk Saunders (suggested by "The Dock Walloper" by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Bancroft ... Bill Roberts
Betty Compson ... Mae
Olga Baclanova ... Mrs. Lou Roberts (as Baclanova)
Clyde Cook ... 'Sugar' Steve
Mitchell Lewis ... Andy, the Third Engineer
Gustav von Seyffertitz ... Hymn Book Harry
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Storyline

Bill Roberts works as a stoker on a coal-red barge. It's dirty, hard work and the men have to put up with a foreman, Andy, who seems to enjoy making their life miserable. When finally off the ship, Bill sees a young woman struggling in the water - apparently trying to commit suicide. He takes her to the Sandbar saloon, the sailors' hangout. The girl is Mae and Bill takes a shine to her but so does Andy. One thing leads to another and Bill asks her to marry him then and there. They don't have a marriage ;licence however and despite Bill promising to get one first thing the morning he decides to leave her behind. When she gets into trouble however, Bill steps in. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 September 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Docks von New-York See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Sugar' Steve tries to light Mae's cigarette from the same match he used to light Bill's and his own cigarettes while she is mending Bill's shirt. Mae blows out the match and says, "What are you trying to do, bring me more bad luck?" He must light a new match for her cigarette. At the time, "three on a match" was considered bad luck. Soldiers during the Crimea War believed that if three soldiers lit their cigarettes from the same match, one of the three would be killed, or alternately the third soldier to use the match would be shot. The superstition persisted with soldiers through World War II. See more »

Quotes

Lou: Until I got married, I was decent.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Video version includes new score by Gaylord Carter. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood Mavericks (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Fabulous Betty Compson
21 August 2005 | by drednmSee all my reviews

What a treat this tough, realistic movie is. George Bancroft, Betty Compson, and Olga Baclanova are all great is this cynical yet tender story of the waterfront.

Director Josef von Sternberg fills a simple tale with pathos and great atmosphere. Tough stoker Bancroft rescues a girl (Compson) from a suicide attempt and "marries" her for a night of fun. But he gets involved in a web of murder, thievery, and drunkenness.

When Norma Desmond said "we had faces then" in Sunset Boulevard (and yes I know it was Gloria Swanson), Betty Compson was at the top of the list. With her big eyes and crooked mouth, Compson was expert at expressing emotion with a twist of the mouth, a flick of the eyelashes. She is wonderful here as Mae, the waterfront gal. Bancroft is also terrific as the big lug who falls hard for Mae. And Baclanova, best remembered for "Freaks" is a dynamo as the wronged wife.

Great scenes of water and fog and birds serve as a backdrop to the drama that enfolds.

Bancroft and Compson won Oscar nominations in the early days of the award and are pretty much forgotten now, but they serve up sparks here in this terrific film. A must see!


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